Be happy and beat stress
In the film Pursuit of Happyness, Will Smith plays a homeless man who is always cheerful, despite facing many obstacles.
On the other hand, many Hongkongers are unhappy and stressed out. We are like machines working or studying about 10 hours a day.
We have to rush around to finish all our tasks. We don't even have time to eat.
Moreover, we strive for excellence.
Students study hard to get better results while employees work hard to get more money and promotions.
This is a fiercely competitive society. We are never satisfied with what we have.
As we pursue wealth and power, we sometimes let ourselves down. This makes us unhappy.
We should relax and be more optimistic.
Happiness can release our pressure and make a big difference in our lives.
Just let it be and you will be ok
I had a lot of friends in primary school.
I thought things would never change, but I was wrong.
In secondary school, I had big problems with my friends. Conflicts broke out more easily and I lost my best friend.
I soon found another one, but she was far from perfect. I realised everyone has their weaknesses. She was fickle and emotional, and could not carry out her plans.
We had a fight recently and she stopped talking to me. Fortunately, things are back to normal again.
The message is: nobody is perfect. Never expect too much from your friends, or you will be disappointed.
If you are an open-minded person, life would be much better.
Also, we can't control everything in our lives. As we grow up, we all have to learn to accept reality. Like The Beatles sang, just 'Let it be' and things will be all right.
Sarah Wong, St Paul's Secondary School
Health supplements not very effective
I caught a bad cold recently. My friend, Stephanie, asked me to try some health supplements, such as vitamin and mineral pills.
'I know many people who take them. Also, there are many advertisements promoting health foods. Maybe you can try some of those products,' she said.
My response was: 'Don't always trust those adverts!'
A recent survey conducted by the Consumer Council showed that health foods are 'not really effective'.
And a majority of the consumers who are in good health are still taking health foods. It might be more of a psychological need, regardless of whether the products are effective or not, the survey revealed.
I think a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle are the keys to good health.
We should have plenty of sleep, eat more fruit and vegetables and take part in sports.
Also, beware of side-effects.
As the saying goes, 'an apple a day keeps the doctor away'.
Jenny Leung, TWGHs Lui Yun Choy Memorial College
Motivation can take you very far
There are various opinions on how to succeed. Some say preparation is crucial. Others point to hard work as the answer.
They have a point. But, in my opinion, motivation is the most important thing.
If you have a target and you are very passionate about it, then everything will fall into place. Success may not come right away, but you should push yourself until you reach your goal.
Motivation will keep you going under all kinds of circumstances, good or bad.
Therefore, if you want to be successful, it is better to have a clear target. You must also know the reasons behind your goal. Strong motivation can take you very far.
Denise Tam, PLK Vicwood K.T. Chong Sixth Form College
Passion helps pianist reach top
I recently listened to a talk by pianist and music teacher Connie Wong.
She was born with only three full fingers.
Despite her handicap, she said playing the piano was her passion.
Dr Wong said she used to hide her hands in kindergarten, because she was different from others.
Sometimes, she wondered why this had to happen to her.
But gradually she changed her attitude towards life. She no longer hides her fingers behind her back.
Dr Wong sang a song at the end of the talk. Everyone clapped loudly.
I would like to thank the school for inviting her.
She's an amazing person.
Lam Wing-sum, The Chinese Foundation Secondary School
To be wealthy, we have to be healthy
People use too many plastic bags these days. This is a bad habit that can destroy the environment.
Some people have suggested shoppers should pay for the plastic bags they use. I totally support the idea of imposing a tax on plastic bags. This means more people will bring their own bags.
Plastic bags take up a lot of space in landfills and they are not bio-degradable.
If we burn them, toxic chemicals will be released into the atmosphere.
A plastic bags tax can arouse public awareness about environmental protection.
We should not ignore our natural environment for the sake of development.
We should ask ourselves: Is health or wealth more important?
As for me, there's no doubt. Health means wealth.
Chung Shui-ting, SKH Lam Woo Memorial Secondary School